Commuters set for rough ride as TSSA votes to join RMT strike

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) will be joining two 48-hour Tube strikes in an announcement that will sink the hearts of commuters.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary, said:

It is now time for Boris to sit down with his staff representatives and negotiate a sensible deal which will protect the safety and security of the travelling public as well as the long-term interests of our members.

We think he is too ready to gamble with safety by abolishing permanent station supervisors in this closure plan, a plan which stands on its head his promise in 2008 to keep open every ticket office.

The TSSA said its members had voted for industrial action by 58.8 per cent on a 52 per cent turnout.

Last week, Bob Crow's Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) confirmed walkouts for the 4-5 and 11-12 February. The strikes come in protest at Transport for London's (TfL) plans to close ticket offices and reduce staff numbers by 750, enabling savings of roughly £50m a year.

To head off maximum disruption from the strikes TfL is drafting in trained volunteers from its back offices to man the stations as “ambassadors” during next month’s strikes.

At the end of 2012, TfL said it hoped to continue using the 3,000 staff who volunteered as ambassadors during the Olympic Games “to provide improved assistance to passengers in future, for example at big sporting events”.